Table of Contents:
- Pellet Gun Laws in South Carolina
- Michigan Pellet Gun Laws
- California Pellet Gun Laws
- Pellet Gun Laws in Florida
Pellet Guns at School
Without the express permission of the authorities in charge of the property, it is illegal to carry or display a pellet gun in public buildings or in areas adjacent to public areas. According to South Carolina Code 16-23-420(a), these areas include "property owned, operated or controlled by a private or public school, college, university, technical college or other post-secondary institution.”
A person carrying a weapon onto public property will be charged with a felony unless he is military personnel, a member of law enforcement, or other person authorized to carry a gun under these circumstances. If convicted, he will be subject to a fine of not more than $5,000 and imprisoned for not more than five years. After conviction, the weapon may be used by the arresting agency or may be sold or destroyed.
Any weapon or object used in violation of this section may be confiscated by the law enforcement division making the arrest.
Using a Pellet Gun in Committing a Crime
A person who uses a pellet gun in committing a crime will have his weapon confiscated. The weapon will not be returned to the person and the agency receiving the weapon may keep it to use or may sell or destroy it. The weapon cannot be disposed of until the outcome of the trial is known.
Shooting at Structures and Vehicles
Shooting at or into buildings, enclosures, cars or equipment is illegal under the South Carolina code and is a felony. A person convicted must be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both.
Concealing a Pellet Gun
A person concealing a weapon that causes injury, such as a pellet gun, is guilty of a misdemeanor if convicted. He will forfeit his weapon to the city and be fined not less than $200 and not more than $500 or be imprisoned not less than 30 days.
Carrying such a firearm onto premises where alcohol is served is also a misdemeanor. Upon conviction, the person will be fined not less than $2,000 or imprisoned not less than three years, or both.
Pellet Gun Possession on Private Property
South Carolina code prohibits city or county governments in that state from regulating pellet gun possession. It does, however, allow public or private employers and private property owners to prohibit possession as long as they post the prohibition on their premises.
If the employer or property owner posts that no concealable weapons are allowed, even people with permits to carry a concealed weapon are not permitted to do so on the premises. This decision was rendered concerning Oconee County’s prohibition of guns, including pellet or air guns, at county parks. It is also presumed to be constitutional until a court declares it unconstitutional.
Pellet Guns in Schools
A student bringing a pellet gun onto school grounds must be expelled under Michigan law. The American Academy of Pediatrics stresses that "nonpowder" guns, which include BB guns, paintball guns and pellet guns, can cause serious injury and even death.
Concealed Carry Weapons Law
Michigan's Concealed Carry Weapons law (CCW) mandates that the holder must have a state-issued permit to carry any firearm, including a pellet gun or pistol, under 30 inches in length. To get this permit you must be over 21 years old and with no felonies on your record. Other requirements include a sound mental state, U.S. citizenship and Michigan residency.
Using and Transporting a Pellet Gun
Michigan law prohibits "discharging a firearm within a public right-of-way, in cemeteries, or on farm property without the consent of the farm's owner," according to Michigan in Brief, a Michigan Public Policy Initiative website. You may transport an unloaded pellet gun in your vehicle as long as it's for a lawful purpose and not accessible to vehicle occupants, and use it on your own property or business. While firearms are illegal on school property, a parent or guardian picking up or dropping off a child at school may have a pellet gun in the vehicle.
Where Pellet Guns Are Prohibited
Michigan law states that firearms are prohibited from schools or day care centers, sports arenas, casinos, any entertainment facility with a capacity over 2,500 people, establishments serving alcohol, airports, hospitals and courtrooms. They are prohibited in places of worship unless the presiding authorities have given permission.
Californian law considers pellet guns to be imitation firearms. Shops that sell them are legally required to display a clear advisory warning on their packaging. The warning should state that the product may be construed as real by police officers and that altering an imitation firearm to make it look more realistic is illegal.
Sale and Distribution
Anyone found selling, distributing, shipping, manufacturing, purchasing or transporting a pellet gun for commercial purposes could be in receipt of a fine amounting to $10,000 for each violation.
Using a pellet gun to intimidate someone so that they have a fear for their personal safety is a misdemeanor. This includes drawing the gun or exhibiting it in a threatening manner.
Brandishment in Public
Exposing or displaying a pellet gun while in a public place will result in the gun's owner being found guilty of either an infraction or a misdemeanor, depending on whether it is their first, second or third offense. The misdemeanor charge is brought when it is the third offense.
Non-powder guns include pellet guns, BB guns and air rifles. These guns expel an object that is made of plastic or metal by using the force of air pressure, spring action or CO2 pressure. These guns can be dangerous because they project the object from the gun at a high speed. The state of Florida has put laws into place that are designed to protect residents from injury from non-powder guns.
Florida is among the states that impose age restrictions on the possession, use or transfer of pellet guns. Other states that impose these restrictions include California, Delaware, Illinois, Minnesota, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The state of Florida requires all minor children who are under the age of 16 years of age, to be under the direct supervision of an adult while using any type of BB gun or pellet gun. This adult must have the consent of the minor child's parents. Florida law can also place a penalty on any adult that permits their minor child to have a pellet gun or BB gun in their possession while not in their presence.
Florida law prohibits any minor under the age of 18 years of age to possess a firearm, including BB guns, pellet guns or air rifles. Exceptions are made for minors who are at least 16 years of age and are using a pellet gun for hunting activities. Children under 16 years of age may use a pellet gun to hunt as long as an adult is present and supervising the minor. Minors who are involved in any type of marksmanship practice or competition may use a pellet gun in for this reason, as long as they are at least 16 years of age. Children who are under the age of 16 may use a pellet gun for competition or practice as long as an adult in direct supervision of the child.
Florida law penalizes any adult that is in violation of the law regarding the use of pellet guns or BB guns by minors. Any parent or guardian who allows their minor child to possess any type of BB gun or pellet gun or any other type of non-powder gun without supervision, may be punished by the court. The court may require the parent or guardian of the minor who was allowed to have possession of a non-powder gun to attend parenting education classes, and the minor may be ordered to perform community service work by the Department Of Juvenile Justice. Minors who are charged with an offense in Florida with a non-powder gun such as a pellet gun, may be detained in a juvenile justice facility and given a hearing within 24 hours. Minors who are of legal driving age, may have their driver's license suspended or revoked as well.